Thu | Dec 1, 2022

Police on youth recruitment drive

Published:Monday | June 13, 2022 | 12:10 AM
A police recruitment drive at Merl Grove High School on Saturday. Applicants are sitting the entrance exam.
A police recruitment drive at Merl Grove High School on Saturday. Applicants are sitting the entrance exam.

Eager to boost its ranks in a bid to collar crime, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is targeting high-school youths and is also seeking to diversify the organisation’s gender profile.

That strategy was disclosed at the force’s 10th recruitment drive at Merl Grove High School on Saturday.

The move appears to be part of the JCF’s policy to net 1,300 new recruits this year. Hiring campaigns have been conducted so far in Clarendon, Manchester, St Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Trelawny, St Mary, and St Ann.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Dian Bartley, who is in charge of recruitment, told The Gleaner that Guy’s Hill will be their next stop, on the request of the community.

“We are going directly in the high school to target the young men, specifically based on the numbers we need to meet,” Bartley said.

“We are striking to have a 70-30 (men-to-women) ratio … . Each time we keep a drive, we notice that it is a little bit more women than men,” said Bartley.

On Saturday, women represented 70 of the 134 would-be recruits who sat the entrance exam.

Close to 100 persons were refused because they failed the statutory requirements, including age, height, and academic qualifications.

Bartley told The Gleaner that she is miffed that some potential recruits turn up unprofessionally attired.

“It’s a bugbear, but we don’t use that as a means to turn back the applicants. But we insist that you must be [professionally attired] each time we engage you,” the deputy superintendent said.

“The standard is changing. There’s a shift in dynamics in the employment, but we need professional representation at all times.”

Recruitment drives are done on Saturdays.

One male applicant, who requested that his name not be published, said that he had always contemplated becoming a policeman, and jumped at the opportunity on learning of the recruitment drive.

“I saw it on social media and then I got my things together. The test was okay,” the 23-year-old said.

“My parents like the idea of me joining the force, so I hope that I am successful.”

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com